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'Cats' need volunteers

Cats in the Community needs around 300 volunteers to help a UA affiliated middle school.


Cats Day is an annual event sponsored by Cats in the Community in which students and faculty help revamp a school in Tucson.  This year, Cats in the Community will be helping out the Wildcat School, which is a non-profit charter middle school that caters to underprivileged children and is associated with the UA.

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According to the school, 96 percent of its students qualify for reduced lunches. The school uses science and research resources from the university and prepares and motivates them to go to college. Also, UA graduate students from the College of Education have helped the school's faculty plan curriculum and learn teaching skills. Volunteers will work on many projects including painting murals, building tables and benches and helping to create a sustainable garden. Cats Day will take place on March 6 between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Wildcat School located at 25 E. Drachman St. Volunteers are able to register online for different shifts, which are 8 - 11:30 a.m., 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their families.


""A little goes a long way, and it can be really meaningful for people to volunteer and reach out,"" said Holly Altman, director of outreach and community partnerships in the Office of Community Relations.


In Jackson Boelts' art class, UA graphic design students are given the chance to work extensively on the project. 


""Students in groups of four to five visit the environment, then create murals, pick furniture and wall colors, flooring and then present their solutions to the Cats in the Community committee and representatives from the organization, which are then judged,"" Boelts said.


Students who have their work selected are then in charge of the creative element and help manage the volunteers.


The class learns to create environmental designs for a real project and participate on a university committee, manage volunteers and help a non-profit agency. 


""This is a(n) exciting experience for all involved. The students get a wonderful portfolio piece and the reward of seeing a project for a non-profit come to fruition,"" Boelts said.


In the past, Cats in the Community has helped the Tucson Community Food Bank, the Primavera Foundation and Project YES! 


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